How to Kill Bugs on House Plants

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Houseplants are just as vulnerable to bug infestation as garden plants are. Keep a close eye on your plants by looking at the soil, the branches and the leaves often. If you notice small, spider-like webs, or little cotton-ball growths, your plants could be infested. There are several ways to prevent indoor plants from being infested.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Pruning shears
  • Insecticides

Staving off Infestation

  • Move the infested plant away from the other plants to avoid the spread of infestation.

  • Mix a combination of water and pure rubbing alcohol together, using three parts alcohol to one part water. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle. Spray a light mist on the plant, but no so much to drown the plant. The alcohol should kill the insects on contact, but also help kill off any of the smaller insects that may be attached to the leaves. Then, spray a light mist of fresh clean water to avoid any residue build up.

  • Control possible root infestation by using a soil drenching soapy insecticide. Systemic insecticides are the most effective and help prevent spreading of the disease. Simply place the mixture at the base of the roots and allow the plant to absorb it. This may take a few weeks for the plant to get rid of the insects causing the damage.

  • Use an insecticide that is specially formulated for the type of bug you are trying to rid from your plants. Most will come in spray forms and others can be mixed with water and taken up through the plant's roots.

  • Use pruning shears to remove any dead or dying leaves and branches. This will help promote new healthy growth and lower the chances of any bugs spreading more disease.

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